Three journalists have reviewed the iPhone 3G prior to its release on Friday. Rather than postulate a general consensus, we’ll present a series of salient data and points of insight gleaned from the newly published reviews.
David Pogue | The New York Times
- The new iPhone feels better in your hand due to the “gracefully curved” back.
- The 3G network “brings you Web pages in less than half the time.“
- Audio quality for calls takes a “gigantic leap forward” and is “crystal clear” on either end of the call — something that only a few other phones can claim.
- Apple claims that the GPS receiver’s antenna is too small to replicate turn-by-turn navigation of a standalone GPS unit.
- As with most GPS devices, downtown buildings can block reception.
- Battery replacement will still cost $86.
- The AppStore is “drop-dead simple,” “hundreds (of apps)” available at launch with “thousands” in the wings
- Gaming on the iPhone is “dazzling”
Walt Mossberg | The Wall Street Journal
- The new phone “mostly keeps its promises.”
- The iPhone 3G “is much, much faster at fetching data over cellphone networks” than the original iPhone.
- Email and Web access were typically “between three and five times as fast on AT&T’s 3G network.” “In Washington and New York [...] 3G speeds ranged between 200 and 500 kilobits per second compared to 70 and 150 kbps on EDGE.”
- The iPhone 3G frequently dropped calls in New York City while a “cheap Verizon phone” had “perfect reception.”
- While 3G was enabled, the iPhone 3G’s battery drained much more quickly than the original iPhone during a typical day of use.
- Audio is greatly improved for the iPhone 3G — the built-in speaker was louder for music and speakerphone conversations were better. There were some echoing issues while using the built-in Bluetooth system in a car.
- Setting up Exchange ActiveSync was quick and easy. Changes on the iPhone were instantly reflected in Microsoft Outlook. Push email was fast and instant.
- Exchange calendar sync will erase personal calendars and contacts in iPhone OS 2 software.
- Tested Apps: AOL Instant Messenger, AOL Radio, etc. on an original iPhone with OS 2.0 installed.
Edward Baig | USA Today
- “No equal among consumer-oriented smartphones.”
- Claims that it was a “relative cinch” to setup access to Exchange and works well.
- Mentions issues where even in New Jersey 3G coverage is not available or spotty.
- Popular Web sites take 10 to 30 seconds to load through 3G, which is a lot faster than on EDGE
- The iPhone 3G feels “perfectly comfortable” in the hand because of the plastic back.
- The plastic backing should improve reception versus the original’s aluminum backing.
- “Pretty impressed” by the GPS accuracy, but wants the phone to have voice turn-by-turn directions.
- Audio quality is better overall, particularly the speakerphone.
- Parental controls not only block access but remove icons from the home screen.
- Daily charging of the phone will be required if used regularly.
- Conclusion: an “enthusiastic thumbs up.”